Most Technical Support Representatives work in a call center with other Technical Support Representatives or Help Desk Technicians. They are on the telephone most of the day, trying to understand and fix the problems end-users are having. Some of these problems are simple and can be fixed in a couple of minutes, while others might take up to an hour or longer to solve. Some of this time is spent waiting for the customer to perform tasks such as restarting their computer. Patience is a critical skill for this occupation! Some questions come in via email, and some Technical Support Representatives might focus just on email requests.
Technical Support Representatives often document each call, including the problem encountered and the solution they provided.
In some companies, software is available to assist the Representatives: an "expert system" helps them identify the problem and then provides step-by-step instructions that are read to the end-user. In other companies, the Representative must have this knowledge in their own heads, being assisted only by documentation and other Representatives. At very small companies, there might be just one or two individuals supporting the product.
Because some companies offer technical support around the clock, variable work schedules are available.
The Technical Support Representatives described in this section offer frontline support to end-users. Technical Support Engineers typically work one step removed from the customer, handling the most difficult situations encountered by Technical Support Representatives (usually newly identified product defects). Technical Support Engineers might also be involved in providing technical assistance to Technical Writers documenting that particular product, as well as providing training classes for new users.
Entry Level: $6 - 22 / hour ($15 / hour average)
Experienced, New to Job: $10 - 31 / hour ($18 / hour average)
Experienced in Job: $13 - 37 / hour ($24 / hour average)